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New Salem - October 13, 2004

Counselor’s Corner
Dr. Gaylynn Becker
Career Counselor
New Salem & Hebron High Schools

North Dakota State Assessment Update

North Dakota State Assessments
The North Dakota Reading and North Dakota Mathematics Assessments will be administered to students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11 beginning this year. The testing window in North Dakota is from October 25 – November 12, 2004. Due to the testing date conflict with the National FFA Convention the last week in October, many of the 11th grade students will be gone. Because this will result in such a high number of make-up exams and disruption on classes for a second week, we have decided to wait until the second week of the testing window to assess students in grades 7, 8, and 11.

Please have students come to school on November 2nd and 3rd well rested and prepared to do their best on the North Dakota Reading and Mathematics Assessments. Of course a good breakfast is also a must. It is important that our students do their best in order for New Salem Public Schools to maintain adequate yearly progress according to the No Child Left Behind Act. This year the percent needed has increased over the requirements of last year and will require more of our students to score at or above the proficient level on the North Dakota State Assessments. This percentage will increase until the 2013-2014 school year in which 100% of our students will need to score at the proficient level.

If you would like to see additional changes to this Year’s North Dakota State Assessment, please see my article that appeared in my September 8, 2004 article.

North Dakota State Assessment Test Interpretation
In response to requests, I will conduct a Test Interpretation session from 5:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. during Parent Teacher Conference on Tuesday, October 26th in the High School Library. This session is particularly for parents whose son or daughter took the North Dakota State Assessment last year or if they are in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 11 this year. Each student who took the North Dakota State Assessments received a total of 4 pages of assessment results. I will explain all of the test scores on these reports. I will also review the concepts the state assessments are assessing.

If you have test reports for your children, please bring the test report. If you have no test report but would like to know what the scores mean and how to interpret the results, I will provide a sample copy so that you can follow along and have a better understanding when your son or daughter’s report is returned to the school either next spring or next fall.

I will also provide a handout that includes Hebron Public School achievement compared to North Dakota student achievement. In addition, I will also have information comparing North Dakota student achievement compared to the student achievement of various other countries that participated in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
This presentation is for any member of the New Salem community. Thanks Mr. Gordon Davis, Mr. Keith Jacobson, Mr. Brent Lauf, and all of the New Salem Public School staff for their support in carrying out this assessment process.

North Dakota State Assessments – No Response
Two weeks ago, I did request from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction for permission to assess our high school students one week prior to the regularly scheduled testing window due to the absences of these juniors who will attend the FFA National Conference. However as I write this article, the Department of Public Instruction has not responded to my inquiry.

Home Education Students
North Dakota Century Code (state law) 15.1-23-09 requires that “while in grades four, six, eight, and ten, each child receiving home education shall take a standardized achievement test used by the school district in which the child resided or, if requested by the parent, shall take a nationally normed standardized achievement test. The child shall take the test in the child’s learning environment or, if requested by the child’s parent, in a public school.”

If you have a son or daughter who is being home educated in these grades and would like them to take the North Dakota Reading and North Dakota Mathematics Assessments, please contact Mr. Gordon Davis, Superintendent, to make sure we have test materials for your son or daughter. We also need to make arrangements for having your son or daughter assessed. The assessment can be administered anytime during this testing window. However, testing must be completed and returned to me by Wednesday November 12, 2004 so that I can package them and return them to CTB McGraw-Hill for scoring along with the school’s test documents.

If you have any questions on career, counseling, or assessment topics, please contact me at either New Salem High School at 843-7610 or at Hebron High School at 878-4442.

Best of luck on the North Dakota State Assessments!